SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Members of the Springfield School Committee are calling for an investigation into a former softball coach at Central High School.
Allegations of an inappropriate relationship between a student and Coach Alberto Hernandez Jr. were reported earlier this week on social media, according to a news release from School Committee-women Denise Hurst, LaTonia Monroe Naylor and Barbara Gresham.
According to Springfield Public Schools spokesperson Azell Cavaan, Hernandez was a paraprofessional and softball coach at Central High School, but is no longer employed by the district.
She could not go into detail as to why his employment ended back on December 11.
Both the Springfield Police Department and the Hampden County District Attorney’s Office tell the 22News I-Team they are aware of the allegations and are now investigating this incident.
Below is the statement 22News received from the three Springfield School Committee members:
In the wake of the most recent allegations against former Central High School Softball Coach, School Committeewomen Denise Hurst, LaTonia Monroe Naylor and Barbara Gresham are calling for Superintendent Daniel J. Warwick to increase transparency and communication.
“We have an obligation to respond to our constituents and if we don’t know what is happening we cannot respond accordingly, which means parents, students and staff are left in the dark. This is not the first time, but hopefully it will be the last. This incident occurred over one month ago, and the questions that need to be answered are, who knew, what actions were taken and why is this just being brought to light”, stated School Committeewoman Denise Hurst.
The residents of Springfield deserve to be informed by district leadership. Learning of the incident over social media is inexcusable. School Committeewoman Barbara Gresham, stated, “The safety of our students is paramount. It is the priority of the Springfield School Committee members to make certain that the children entrusted to us on a daily basis are safe”.
School Committeewoman LaTonia Monroe Naylor stated, “We have a fiduciary responsibility as members of the school committee. We must have greater transparency to fulfill the tasks we were elected to carry out and prevent as much as possible these types of violations from occurring again”.
All three School Committeewomen, Gresham, Hurst and Naylor, demand that a thorough and immediate investigation be conducted of the Coach who allegedly abused his power, and if convicted be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.